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Cornerstone Architects #WFH Experience

Like many other companies, the Cornerstone Architects team has spent the last several weeks working remotely. Fortunately, much of the work we do lends itself to working from home rather easily, not to mention all of the online collaboration tools that are available these days! We even meet every Monday morning for our weekly staff meeting...via Zoom, of course. (Had anyone even heard of Zoom before March??)

Most of us are clearly afraid of our cameras...

Since we have all been isolated from one another, we thought it would be nice to share what a few of us (and our pets and kids) have been up to and what our WFH experience looks like...enjoy!


Sydney Riegel: I have absolutely loved working from home! The best part is not having to commute. I get so many chores done during the day when I would normally be driving or taking lunch! My house is cleaner than ever and then I can just enjoy myself in the evening. My coworkers, Khorki and Nova, are thrilled to have me home (I guess Mat likes it too). They like to watch me work.

Also, I found some new neighbors – a bird set up a nest on our back porch fan blade this winter and now 4 baby birds have hatched! It is fun to watch them interact.

I think the biggest challenge is knowing when to stop working…although I have that problem at the office too. Since I am home, it is harder to find a good stopping place. Overall, I give #WFHLife two thumbs up! I don’t really want it to end!


Jeremy Koomler: Week 1 I would have told you how challenging it was for ME to co-work with a 3rd and 5th grader. However, I quickly stepped back and realized the challenges my wife was facing as a nurse, and the general contractors who never stopped working on our jobs under construction. I started to appreciate the slower pace during this weird time and appreciate the days of swimming, fishing, laughing, and even online learning.


Cassidy Coons: One upside to working from home is I got this new coworker named Birdie. She doesn’t get a whole lot done other than sleeping and begging me to go outside, but her cuteness and occasional kisses make up for it. I think she might be getting a little too used to this “work from home” thing!


Beatriz Machado: So far I have had a great experience working from home! I am someone that has no problem staying up all night, however waking up in the morning is always a struggle. For the past 3 weeks I have been waking up at 7:50 am and quite literally rolling out of bed and 4 feet over to my desk. I love not having to wake up early to put on makeup or worry about what I’m going to wear. But the best...No 360 rush hour traffic, woohoo! Here is a photo of my desk/vanity/craft table and my lovely co-worker Felix. He’s very photogenic, but not very productive...I always catch him napping on the job!


Rodney Palmer: My WFH experience summed up in images...

Printing in 8 1/2 x 11 format…Killing me!!!!!

The face of the world

New co-workers
"The view is better, the music is better and the dress code is better...but it's not better than working together face to face!" Rodney Palmer


Annalee Martino: I have done my best to keep my family focused on the positives and enjoying our slower pace of life! It has been amazing not spending the hours from 5AM to 8AM every day in a mad rush of getting kids up, ready, fed and out the door to school, and then right into traffic to get to the office. Having the extra time makes working from home a breeze.

My office vs. my Kindergartner's office

It’s the home schooling that isn’t quite up to par. You can sum it up in most of the memes floating around out there:

Although they are missing school and their friends (even though they have more Zoom meetings than we do), and they're not exactly getting a 5-star academic education at the moment, we are finding time to give them experiences. Whether teaching our youngest to ride a bike, taking them fishing, letting them cook, playing EVERY board game known to man, or just spending ridiculous amounts of time together has hopefully made for some happy memories during a crazy time!


Cole Machalek: I’ve been spending quality time with my roommate’s dog...let's just say she gets in the way sometimes!


Kristin Schieffer: We have been ‘documenting’ the different ways one of my cats sleeps….

But on the more serious side -- the ‘adopt’ line (the group that responds when anyone emails in) that I volunteer for with Austin Pets Alive has been NUTS! I’ve gone from 1-2 shifts a week to probably 30 minutes a day on top of several shifts on the weekends. Very thankful that everyone in Austin is wanting to foster/adopt right now, but the organization unfortunately is low on funding since the majority of their fundraising is through events. Also, they are pulling from shelters all over Texas right now since most shelters are closed to the public. We adopted both of our cats from APA, and Paula and Jeremy have adopted through APA as well!


Mark Carlson: Heading into The Home Depot, and staining and sealing my new ping pong tables!


Marvin Bonilla: Working from home has been made as easy as possible with my wife letting me borrow a corner of her music studio room to set up my home office. The large window in this room also give me some new insight to the neighborhood. I get to see the 10 year old kid do laps around the neighborhood every hour (extremely impressive), the 3 separate pregnant couples that walk past my house after 4:00 PM, and the slow consistent movement of the shadows cast by the oak tree outside the window.

Then there are the co-workers, Nico and Jay. They are the real winners of me working from home. They love sitting on the couch in the music studio/office and just looking at me like, “you could be playing with me instead of working.”

I do miss the collaboration of great ideas that happens at our office. The consistent hum of mice clicking, keyboards typing, trash paper being crushed, and creative thoughts coming out of every desk. Along with the north side of the office sending me messages, asking if our team can keep it down 😊.


As society slowly begins to open back up and things return to "normal", we will say goodbye to our cozy home work spaces, animal co-workers, and sheltered worlds we've been living in. Until then, we will continue working (the projects keep rolling in!) and hope everyone is staying safe and finding the small joys during this time ❤



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